How To Solve Dealership Turnover & Staffing Issues Forever (PART 4)
TRANSCRIPT: How about this one? Every dealership I work with, when I walk in the first time, their floor won’t make sales calls. Let me clear. Your floor is not making sales calls, so let’s put in, “Thou shalt make your calls.” There’s great data from the Lead Response Management study that found that the best time to make contact with someone is between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., and that 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. is one of the best times to qualify a new lead, so like nap time was in preschool, we’re going to make sure that all of our salespeople are at their desks every day from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every single day. Plus, we’re going to add in one other thing.
We’re going to add something called MBWA, Management By Walking Around. Just like the preschool teacher walked around, made sure everybody had their head down at nap time, you’re going to have one manager from 8:00 a.m. 10:00 just going to walk around, make sure everybody is at their desk, right? 4:00 to 6:00, everybody’s at their desk. Unless you’re up or unless you have an appointment, you’re parked at your desk from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. making calls. Some of you are saying, “Wait, Steve. That’s not practical for our market” or, “That’s not practical for our store. You don’t know what it’s like.” Great. Create your own times and enforce it.
“Hey, Steve. We can’t do that on Saturday.” Great. Just do it Monday through Friday. Could you imagine just getting two hours a week out of your team, making calls two hours per person? I’m talking about getting two hours a day. The morning crew is making calls from 8:00 to 9:00. The afternoon crew is making calls from 4:00 to 6:00. The floor is covered just fine and you know it is. Whatever you do, if this is not a practical rule for you, create your own times, but just make sure you enforce it. This is the foundation that we’re building.
How about this one? “Thou shalt complete activities.” Again, the dealerships I work with, when we first go in, we do a deep dive in the CRM. What do we find? We find thousands of past due activities that aren’t being done, so here’s the rule. Did you work yesterday and you have past due activities today? No problem. You’re riding the pine. You’re not taking any ups. Just make calls all day. See, ask yourself this. Are the activities assigned by the CRM important? Are they? If they’re not, then get rid of them. Put some activities that are important, but I’m going to tell you they are important.
The be-back calls, the owner marketing calls, those are important, right? They’re going to help us sell cars. So do those activities help us sell cars? Do they help us get better CSI, maybe the CSI call three days after they bought a new car? Do they generate referrals? If I could get my sales team to make all their referral calls, would we get more referrals? Yeah, that’s weird, isn’t it? Do they help us set appointments that show? Yes, Steve, all of these activities that are required, they’re all important, they all do great things for us. Great. Then let’s put this rule in place.
If you worked yesterday and you have past due activities today, that means you didn’t complete all your activities yesterday. No problem. No excuses. You ride your desk and you use the phone and you don’t catch any ups. Some of you are like, “But, but, but wait, Steve. Wait, wait. What if we give them 24 hours to complete past dues?” Okay, fine. Then say, if you worked two days ago and you’re working today, and you had past due activities still left over from two days ago, then you ride the pine. I don’t care what rule you write. All I care about is that you live it, that you’ll put it in place and live it. Now some of you are saying, “Steve, I can’t make people ride the pine. My best guys are going to quit.”
My answer to that is really a question. Are they really your best guys? Are they really your best guys and gals if they’re going to quit because you want them to complete the activities that you’ve already agreed will help us sell more cars, get us better CSI, more referrals, all of the above? We’ve agreed that these required activities are important and that they help you sell cars, right? It’s kind of like your advertising. Would you pay for a 100% of your ads if your ad agency only ran 10% of them? No, you wouldn’t, but you keep paying your salespeople 100% on the deals that they close even though they’re only doing 10% or fewer of the activities. I’m going to tell you this. Completing their activities is part of the job, okay?
In fact, let’s be clear. If your managers could make your floor team make their phone calls, for example, you wouldn’t need a BDC. You simply wouldn’t, okay? I’m going to give you some stats here real quick. We had some clients that put this rule into place and they were able to cut turnover in half and they grew their sales by 37% per salesperson per month, six months after they put this in place because it forced people to make the activities. We’ve already said the activities are going to help us sell more. A great thing happens when you keep your team busy. They don’t have time to jawbone. They don’t have time to talk about how terrible it is to work here, so keeping them on the phones during that time while the initial shock of this is going to hurt them a little bit, over the long term you’re going to get more sales per person. This dealership cut their turnover in half and they grew sales per salesperson by 37%.